California native, pro surfer, singer-songwriter and guitar wizard Donavon Frankenreiter gave fans a special two-night performance at Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach on March 6th and 7th. First of all, this venue was the perfect setting for his stylish transitions, intimate lyrics and funky vibes. Hermosa Beach puts a smile on my face every time — whether I am there for the day, dinner, sunset or a party. This time, I was lucky enough to do it all!
Christina Holmes opened up the night with a truly captivating performance. Playing songs off her third studio album, The Beautiful Struggle, she is seriously a weapon. Full of grace, full of power and full of positivity; a tantalizing and enthralling combination that makes her an immediate show-stopper! If you aren’t following Christina Holmes, you need to be.
This show really felt like we were all just friends in a jam circle, mesmerized by Donovan’s funky, folksy, guitar work…
By the time Donavon Frankenreiter and longtime righthand man Matt Gundy took the stage, the crowd was soaring with upbeat energy and we all knew the boys would be carrying us all through the rest of the night in ferocious style! The Record Player Tour is unique for many reasons. First off, it’s just a drum and bass record. The idea for this came to Donavon from his own love of vinyl and sharing music with others, seeing what new things can form from the old when different people play along. So, with that in mind, he and Gundy sat a player in between them, put the needle down themselves and played along!
“We love vinyl records so much and are complete addicts when it comes to vintage players… and that’s how this whole idea came to me,” beams Donavon. “I thought why can’t we make an album available where people can jam along to it and we can also play it LIVE, too?”
Ladies and gentlemen — IT WORKED! As the analog player spun in hi-fi and the boys jammed along, there was something so intimate and authentic about it. This show really felt like we were all just friends in a jam circle, mesmerized by Donovan’s funky, folksy, guitar work (for which I have now renamed him ‘The Franken-Fretter’), paired with gorgeous harmonica and banjo playing by Gundy… it was all foot-stomping fever as the night played on.
I loved this performance and this album so much because of its inclusive nature.
For the encore, Donavon, Matt and Christina all joined together onstage for a beautiful closing tune of “Free”, written by Jack Johnson and Donavon Frankenreiter and sang by everyone in the crowd. I loved this performance and this album so much because of its inclusive nature. So often in today’s world, we are told we must be amazing at something. And, this mentality fails us from singing just to feel good or playing off-key, because playing instruments should be fun and we have to play to get better. The only way we can ever excel is to practice and I truly believe creating art in which others can feel and be a part of is one of the greatest gifts an artist can give.
Personally, I am a writer, but in the days following the show, I sat in my room with my own vintage record player and attempted to strum along on my ukulele. I was happy and free in those moments, too, reliving the fun I had the weekend before! Thank you ‘Franken-Fretter’ and friends for bringing us back to the heart and soul of why we make music in the first place: for connection, love, community, to have fun and bring out the good vibes!
Whether you are slaying it on your instruments or karaoke-ing it in your shower the Bass and Drum Tracks is one for the collection. To buy the vinyl or catch Donavon on tour, please visit the links below for more purchasing information.